OCCUR is an intermediary and public service policy organization that provides critical services and programs in community technology, nonprofit capacity building, consumer education, equitable developm Read more [...]
FAME is a network of people of people of faith who support low wage and immigrant workers who are organizing for respect, dignity and living-wage jobs.
- To listen to the Hope from the Hood podcast about Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy, click HERE.
Kristi Laughlin and BK Woodson embody two things we don’t find often enough and almost never find in combination: a passion for justice and deep humility. Kristi and BK connect people of faith with the courageous struggles of low-wage and immigrant workers. Their work may sound political, but the way they engage in that work is deeply spiritual and is driven by their own faith. They lead an organization called Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy (FAME). They were featured in a very inspiring interview on the Hope from the Hood podcast, speaking about their work in general and their work to educate and mobilize voters to increase the minimum wage in Oakland in particular. The interview can be found HERE. But be warned, by the end of the podcast, you might be itching to go to synagogue, mosque, temple or church. (Or you might be itching to hit the streets and let the community know why Oakland will be a better city when it has a better minimum wage.)
FAME is one of the original OPC partners, and the work they do is creating tangible peace in our community, because on a day-to-day basis, FAME works to make sure that families aren’t torn apart by unjust immigration laws or by wage theft that makes workers work long hours at multiple jobs (including many unpaid hours) that keep them from the families they love. Financial desperation and separation from loved ones for policy or financial reasons create a lack of peace within individuals and within whole communities that create a lack of peace throughout the whole Bay Area. FAME, in very concrete ways, is creating peace in the East Bay by creating access, opportunity and dignity for all people.
One of the most inspiring moments in the podcast was when Kristi shared about FAME’s vision for a world in which people are not so consumed with underpaid work for such long hours that their only identity becomes that of worker. Right now, many low-wage (fast food, Walmart, and other service industry work) workers have to work 80 or more hours to cover their most basic needs. When workers are paid fairly and only need to work a regular work week, Kristi noted, they get to fully participate in their communities as family members and as parents in their children’s schools and as faith leaders and as people invested in their neighborhood. And all of us would benefit from that happening–our neighborhoods will be more vibrant when people aren’t overworked and can invest more fully in one another.